See the light
LIGHTING can transform rooms, creating different atmospheres and even, by visual trickery, changing the dimensions of a space.
Once you’ve learnt to play with the options, there’s no limit to the effects you can enjoy, but with such a huge array of lighting on offer, the right choice for your home may not always be glaringly obvious.
Here, experts reveal their illuminating advice on ‘seeing the light’, and the top trends for 2016...
BIG & BOLD
Industrial style is vying with innovative lighting design for attention – and size does matter for today’s lamps, says Mark Holloway, 44, owner of a lighting and furniture specialist.
“Lighting design is about to change dramatically. Rather than being the carrier of one or several large light bulbs, light fittings will become the source of light in their own right. Organic shapes and new materials will combine with the myriad, hugely effective, LED light sources, to create stunning and dramatic lighting, while standard, domestic lighting will become more elegant, compact and efficient,” he predicts.
“Almost daily, exciting and innovative lights are being launched, which showcase design talent, new materials and technology. Interestingly though, one of the strongest trends for the past few years has been anything but high-tech; retro industrial lighting is still hugely in demand. Sun metal pendants, workshop adjustable wall lights and factory floor and table lamps are very on trend, and look particularly effective teamed with traditional style filament light bulbs.”
SWITCH ON: To large lights – chandeliers, drum pendants and giant floor lamps – and materials such as wood veneers, concrete and hand-blown glass.
Decorative light bulbs, glass shades and cluster pendants are stars of this year’s light range, says Kirstin White, 29, a décor company lighting buyer.
“Decorative bulbs – with LED, filaments or appealing shapes – are really making an impact as they are an easy, inexpensive but extremely appealing way to freshen up a space,” she says.
“Glass is another big trend... This works well with the bulb trend, as a glass shade can help soften the bulb while still showcasing its decorative effect, and the overall look is bright and interesting.
“Cluster pendants, also fashionable, are a striking alternative to a large statement pendant shade, and work well in smaller spaces.”
SWITCH ON: To feature lighting – oversized floor lamps through to decorative wall lights – as a form of functional art, which will make a statement in any room.
MAJOR IN METAL
Metallics, especially copper’s warm tones, combine with light to give a warm glow, and will take centre stage in this year’s collections, says Victoria Atkin, 45, co-founder of a specialist in hand-crafted and artisan homeware.
“Metallics are expected to gain momentum in 2016, and that’s evident in lighting ranges. Bronze, brass, copper and chrome all provide a hint of vintage luxury, while their highly reflective surfaces dance a warm, sparkling glow around the room,” says Atkin.
“Metallic accents are great because they can be adapted to suit all tastes, from clusters of distressed copper pendant lights for industrial style spaces, to glamorous mercury silver table lamps catering to the luxurious statement home.”
SWITCH ON: To pieces made in a traditional way by skilled craftsmen, which bring authenticity to an interior, and embrace transparency with clear glass bases or shades.
Three fixed pendant Photos: PA Photo